The Women’s Dusty Classic is set to start next week with four teams announced, here are eight more to round out a bracket of twelve groups to vie for the cup.
The men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic kicked off on Wednesday with MSK and the Undisputed Era moving on to the second round. Along with that action, the first four teams for the women’s tournament was revealed. Those teams are Toni Storm and Mercedes Martinez, Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell, Kayden Carter and Kacy Catanzaro, and Shotzi Blackheart and Ember Moon. The WWE has yet to reveal the number of teams that will take part in this tournament, but let’s have some fun and fantasy book the remaining portions of the inaugural Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
Since the women’s tag titles can float across all brands, this fantasy bracket will include women’s teams made up of ladies from each of the three WWE shows. The belts originally excited fans because it should have been an opportunity to highlight women that may not get time on television as singles competitors. It doesn’t seem like the Dusty Classic will include main roster teams, and that would be a disservice to the entire division. Still, adding these groups would push some excitement in not only the draw but the outcome of the whole showcase.
Carmella & Chelsea Green
This pairing would hinge on Green’s recovery from the wrist injury that forced her out of the Survivor Series. Her surprise introduction and equally unfortunate injury that followed pushed her right back off television, after months off air after being called up to the main roster. Green is a very promising addition to the women’s division and placing her in a tag team Carmella would be a good way to introduce her back to the wrestling fanbase.
Carmella has been good in her role since returning to active wrestling. Fans may not want to see her as SmackDown’s top champion, but she has performed well as Sasha Banks’s foil. Carmella has obtained a lot of success as a singles star, winning the Dusty Classic and getting a shot at the tag titles would be another accolade on her resume.
The Riott Squad
The Riott Squad is the best women’s tag team that WWE can offer. It would be a grave mistake to not include them in this tournament. Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott continue to embody all things tag team wrestling, each time they step into the ring. With their pacing and continuing to introduce new moves each time they compete, it’s hard to realize that they haven’t held the tag belts yet. Putting them in this tournament and giving them the opportunity to face teams from NXT would raise the stakes of the entire bracket and make it even more interesting to those fans that love to watch women’s wrestling.
Natalya & Tamina
Natalya and Tamina are the veterans that no one wants to face, but a young team can get a boost from via upset. No one would expect the duo to win the entire tournament, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t pick up at least one victory, building up the team that would eventually put them out at some point. Natalya and Tamina have tagged together recently in a comedy storyline with Billie Kay, so putting them together for a serious run in the Dusty Classic would not be far the beaten path.
Yes, Peyton Royce and Billie Kay are on separate brands. But how many times has WWE ignored the idea of different shows without any bit of explanation? Fans are seeing and enjoying more of Kay right now and all we need is a segment or video with Kay explaining she talked to her “best friend” Adam Pearce to get Peyton over for a chance to put on a run in this tournament. Fans have come to appreciate the IIconics act more now that they were lazily separated, and Peyton was saddled to Lacey Evans. They wouldn’t need to win the entire tournament but have them put on a solid performance just to lead to an epic IIconics meltdown like none other when they fail to advance all the way to the finish.
Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke
Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke have looked good as a tag team. Dana especially, as the WWE has failed to utilize her properly as a singles competitor, she looks to be hitting a strong stride as Rose’s partner. While they haven’t put together a strong run of wins, they are a team that is frequently placed on WWE television, which is a stronger place than many of the other women on the roster. At first, it seemed like Mandy and Dana were stuck together without any real plans, and even if that was the case, they’ve excelled in this pairing to become a team that would be a worthwhile addition to the Dusty Classic.
Mickie James & Lana
Mickie James was featured on Legend’s Night like she isn’t an active part of the WWE roster. She’s still one of the best performers on the WWE roster and fans want to see more of her on television. Lana was getting an odd push leading up to TLC, but all of that was suddenly scrapped in an all to WWE-like fashion. The explanation for this team could be that Lana wants to prove that she belongs and deserves more respect, thus she sought out the help of a Future Hall of Famer like Mickie James to become a better performer.
Marina Shafir & Jessamyn Duke
Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke are the last two members of the MMA Four Horsewomen to not be featured prominently on WWE television. Raw Underground looked like the opportunity to let them shine in their own way, but that was quickly shut down after a few weeks. After years behind the scenes, bringing them out as a tag team for this Dusty Classic would be the right move. They could even be considered early favorites to run the table. Initially, there was concern about their in-ring abilities, but their styles would certainly look different than what is consistently seen in women’s wrestling. Plus, imagine them being tag team champions and paired with a renewed Shayna Baszler who has her eyes set on the Raw Women’s title. That’s the booking that everyone wants to see.
Naomi & Santana Garrett
Naomi and Santana Garrett are two women that have legions of fans but cannot find their way onto television. Garrett gets brought in for random squash matches from time to time while Naomi is consistently pushed to the back burner. She, just like Carmella mentioned earlier in this piece, has obtained a lot of success over the years, and adding a strong tag team run to her resume would be the right decision. Plus, this is an opportunity to properly introduce Garrett to more of the WWE roster, where she has the potential to build a stronger following of her own.